Friday, August 15, 2008

DC Final Edition

It is undoubtedly the sign of a good pen show that only five days later am I rested enough and caught up so that I can complete my post on the Washington DC show. Those of you who read the lists have, by now, a pretty good sense of the show and some great images, so I will keep this short.

It’s a truism that many of us came at first for the pens but return for the people. That certainly is the case. I am blessed with a multitude of pen friends, many of whom I got to see at the show. The list is too long to detail, but I enjoyed time with Richard Binder, a good friend and colleague, and with Danny Marion a friend and mentor. I am also honoured to lead the best PCA board in the history of the organization and got to meet with those colleagues, plus our Pennant Editor Richard Jarvis and our pen show representative Kim Svabik.

For me another highlight was the opportunity to talk about one of the loves of my life, Pelikans. About twenty of us spent more than an hour looking into the history of the frim, their pens, discussing repairs. We had a lively Q and A followed by some show and tell. Great fun for me and I think for them.

While I sold fewer pens this year than in previous years, I was able to buy a small, but select group of mostly Pelikans as well as some other German makes, and for my self I scored a red ripple Waterman’s 56 that nearly crawled into my hands and a rather uncommon Pelikan 100N which appears to be a demonstrator, with a clear(!) binde! What fun.

A final word to those of you who think you can collect pens without going to pen shows and partaking of the community. You can’t! The joy of pens is in the people and the gathering. There are lots of pen shows in America and Europe, a far cry from twenty-five years ago when it was Chicago. C’mon down!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Scenes from a (pen) exhibition

Too late for any narrative, just some images. Great show so far, lots of good pens for the website, including a couple of Blue Oceans, a transparent green M800, a Nettuno Idra, and tons of fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prelude to a Show

Most pen shows begin semi-officially on Thursdays, when there are trading rooms, traders, buyers, but nothing is official. The atmosphere is loose and casual, more like a club meeting than what will emerge by Saturday.

For those who have not attended the DC show, it is one of the two largest in the World and by Saturday this room, the small one, will be packed, as will the larger room.

Thursday morning, as the images show, began slowly, but built. For my part I did not set anything up, but cruised, schmoozed and bought a few things.

By the late afternoon, when I returned from the gym (the best on the pen circuit, by the way) things were much more active, but the camera was in the room and I was getting ready to have dinner with Gerry Berg, his wife Vikki, Vikki’s mom, Ruth Bravo, and Bill Hong at Shamshany, the pleasant Iranian restaurant just behind the hotel. This is the third year in a row we have done this, so it must be a tradition.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fun in the Friendly Skies

Travel is such a joy in the United States these days. A couple of months ago I spent the better part of the morning booking a flight from the Bay Area to Washington DC, unable to believe that I could not get a more convenient itinerary. So here I am on three and a half hour layover in the Denver airport, en route to DC. I left home at 3:15 AM and will hopefully be at Tyson’s Corners by 7:30 tonight.

Once I get there, I expect to have something more exciting to report.

Scenes from an airport:

Walking up to gate B26. Rick, “Is this the gate for flight 316 to DC. It’s not on the board." Agent, “ Yes it is, at least so far.”

While walking through the airport, young man, obviously a runner, sprinting between gates, muttering “oh, gosh.” Ten yards behind his girlfriend, obviously not a runner, enjoying a last minute gate change at 5200 feet altitude.

La di da di dah

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It’s been a quiet week at PENguin central. Catching up between the Chicago trip (see below) and the DC Supershow (stay tuned). But we did get in a few pretty nice pens this week, including the Aurora Giuseppi Verdi Gran Gala, which, though available, has also been in my pocket a few times.

Let’s see if anyone can tell me what is the most interesting (and perhaps least common) piece in the lot.

And this one, purely for myself